TRIP 2009

Update #10 - April 18th
Wilmington, North Carolina
1161 miles (1858 KM) since March 22nd
1425 miles (2280 KM) since January 01st

As I stated in my last update, I was thinking about cancelling out Charleston, SC in my route. I actually canceled out my ride along US 17 from Charleston through the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina to Shallotte, North Carolina. Riding through the Myrtle Beach area is extremely hard because of the traffic no matter what time of year it is.

From Lexington, I rode through Columbia to Camden where I was the guest of the First Baptist Church. During the next day, I had to seek cover out of the rain and thunderstorms on my way between Camden and Florence. In Florence, I was the guest of the police chaplain. Wednesday, I rode to Conway where I was the guest of the Kinley Presbyterian Church. I spent the night in the youth house across the street. This was after taking part in a good family meal in the church fellowship hall. After the meal, I had the chance to speak for a few minutes.

Instead of riding to Myrtle Beach and heading north on US 17 there, I took a more northerly route along some rural highways that took me into North Carolina and then I headed northeast to Shallotte. In Shallotte, I made connections with the pastor of the Open Door Baptist Church. They were having a fellowship meal and also a Christian recovery program that is similar to AA. I got to speak instead of the regular speaker. Afterwards, I was surprised at getting over $40 in green-handshakes and also the use of the church for the night.

Friday was supposed to have been an easy 42 mile ride to Wilmington where I was supposed to spend the night with a member of the Couch Surfing program but it wasn't. Along the way, I had to deal with a variable direction wind which was a combination of headwinds and crosswinds. It blew me off the road a couple of times.

I was also having some problems with steering. The headset of the recumbent was out of skew and this caused me to oversteer to the left. I tried to correct it but it just seemed to get worse. About four miles west of the bridge over the Cape Fear River, I tried to call my host to see if they could sag me the rest of the way but I wasn't able to. I couldn't ride the bike because the steering was bad so I walked the rest of the way into Wilmington. It was around 5 PM when I got into downtown Wilmington. I still had to get to my host's house which was in the Northern Eastern part of Wilmington. This took me a little over two hours to ride/walk the bike there.

I was really sore when I got to the house. The soles of my feet, calves, palms of my hands, and my left shoulder were really aching. My host Gloria said that she was almost ready to call the police to see if something had happened to me.

I was invited to stay an extra day so that I could get the bike fixed at a local shop. This morning, Gloria loaded me up into her husband's car and we took Alice to Bike Cycles. They were really great at Bike Cycles. They were not that busy so they got right on the repair. The bottom ball-bearing race in the headset had broke and some of the ball bearings had fallen out. At one time there were four people working on Alice and it didn't take them long to install a new ball bearing race and adjust the headset. I thought that it was going to cost a lot but I was only charged $12 so if you are ever in need of bicycle repair go to Bike Cycles on 6801 Parker Farm Road.

Because of this unexpected day off, I will be arriving in the Washington, DC area Sunday, May 03rd. I still have a few days to play around with on my way to Maine. My 53rd birthday will possibly be spent riding between Newport and Richfield, Vermont.

The next update should be between April 25 and May 02.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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